CUSTOMERS visiting cinemas, theaters and licensed hospitality venues may be asked to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test from early December.
A final decision on the potential extension of the certification scheme has been pushed back to next Tuesday, but Nicola Sturgeon said it would be “deeply irresponsible not to consider it” as a way to avoid tougher restrictions over the winter.
“All of our decisions are motivated by a desire to get through what will be a challenging winter without having to reintroduce any trade restrictions,” the prime minister said.
“We want companies, if possible, to remain fully open throughout Christmas and the winter, while keeping Covid under control.”
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New Covid pass rules, if agreed, will take effect from Dec. 6 and apply to indoor cinemas, theaters and some other licensed and hospitality venues, she added.
Exceptions will apply to persons under 18 years of age, participants in clinical vaccine trials, persons with medical conditions that prevent vaccination, and staff working in places.
Sturgeon, however, said it was everyone’s civic duty “to be vaccinated against Covid if possible, describing those who chose not to do so as” deeply irresponsible “.
For the first time, the scheme in Scotland could allow people to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test to enter spaces covered by passports after evidence that control helped prevent outbreaks at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
Sturgeon said that so far there is no sign of any significant increase in cases associated with COP, with the latest data actually indicating that virus rates in Glasgow city are actually the lowest in Scotland.
Among the measures taken was a requirement that anyone entering the main summit, known as the blue zone, must prove a negative lateral flow test.
According to Public Health Scotland, the positivity rate for lateral flows among those officially affiliated with COP26 was around four out of every 1000 people tested compared to a prevalence rate in the wider population of 12 per capita. 1000 last week.
Sturgeon told MSPs that since October 15, 291 people across Scotland with Covid have reported attending a COP-related event – including satellite meetings and demonstrations, as well as the summit itself – representing less than 0.5 % of all those who have tested positive over the past month and have been reported through Test and Protect.
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She added that Scotland is also currently the “most vaccinated” part of the UK based on taking the first, second and booster Covid vaccine dose.
To date, 88% of adults in Scotland have been fully vaccinated, with almost 57% of 12- to 15-year-olds and 76.5% of 16- and 17-year-olds receiving a single dose.
Teenagers aged 16 and 17 are now eligible for the second dose, however, following updated guidance issued by the UK JCVI expert group on Monday.
About 70% of all over 70 have also received a booster rush, with more than 54,000 online appointments booked since the portal went live for over 50 years on Monday morning.
However, some users – particularly in the Lothian area – had used social media and reported that they could not find any vacancies until 2022, or that the portal automatically sent them to booster vaccination centers ten or hundreds of miles from their homes.
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The boosters are seen as a crucial means of reversing declining immunity and preventing a resurgence of winter in Covid.
Research estimates that protection against symptomatic infection decreased from 66% after a second dose of AstraZeneca to 47% five months later; with Pfizer, it dropped from 90% to 70% in the same period.
After a booster rush, however, this rose to 93% and 95%, respectively.
It is thought that this may be one of the reasons why infections have recently fallen among over 60s in Scotland, but have risen in the under 60s – especially in the under 20s, mainly driven by cases in school children , returning after the October break.
Dr. Christine Tait-Burkard, a coronavirus expert at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute, said: “It was always expected because that’s exactly what happened after the summer holidays.”
She added, however, that there was “a slight indication” in recent Covid figures that infections in Scotland “may be leveling off again”.
“It may be part of the reason why the government is taking new measures,” said Dr. Tait-Burkard with reference to Covid passport.
“But we should keep in mind that they are very, very high. The plateau we had before this current rise is high and can still cause problems for the NHS over the winter.”
Cases have risen from a daily average of about 2,500 throughout October to just over 3,000 by Saturday, November 13, according to cases reported after trial dates.